A question landed in the inbox the other day that quickly became two. Where was the answer? Why was the question asked in the first place?
My mind immediately went into overdrive. I knew the answer could be found in a box of papers somewhere in the office. As I looked at the top of the cabinet, I narrowed my search to four. One of them had the missing documentation. There was no chance that anyone has thrown it away or destroyed it by accident. Even as I looked, the question that circled was “why”? Why this piece of information? Nobody else had asked about it. I did not know of anyone who was looking.
As I reached for the third box, the answer to my second question was suddenly obvious. If I answered the question a certain way it would show that I had more insight than I had revealed. If I answered the question another way, I would have evidence to support that I had been telling the truth. My quest took on more urgency! I knew I had told the truth as best as I could recall, but what would the information say?
I had no idea.
My search became a metaphor for discovering truth. A writer’s notes turned out to be an accurate guide. “You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene.” (1 Corinthians 2.7) In a dusty file I found dated papers with the answer. An old action, taken when nobody thought it was important, told a story. The essence of the story then was the same as the one I was telling now.
There are other truths to be found. I heard one in a song from my childhood that unexpectedly played on iTunes as my plane landed in Singapore this morning. The message was there then as it was today. It just needs a dusting and embrace.